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Learning More About Community Colleges

Students learn from state leaders in higher education

Becca Wittenstein, Amy Moore, Auggy Kang, Dr. Pamela Eddy, Chancellor Glenn DuBois, Natalya Kostenko, Grayson Page, Tiffany Pugh, Terry Hinders, Tehmina Khwaja, Debra ButlerStudents taking the Community College Administration course and Organizational Governance in Higher Education attended a series of meetings at the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) office on March 16th.  The sessions provided outlines of career pathways of the top-leaders in the system office that emphasized the necessity of advanced graduate degrees, mentoring, and participation in national association leadership.  Dr. Glenn DuBois, VCCS Chancellor, spent time outlining the opportunities facing today's community colleges and highlighting the articulation agreements between the state's 23 community colleges and the College of William and Mary.  A current focus of the VCCS is on its five strategic goals outlined in Achieve 2015.

Dr. Craig Herndon, Vice Chancellor for Workforce Development Services presented on the role of community colleges in meeting workforce needs in the state and the focus on career pathways.  The links between the Virginia Higher Education Act's goals for job creation and increasing the number of college graduates provide clear demand for the community college degrees. 

Dr. Susan Wood, Vice Chancellor for Academic Services and Research underscored the role of data collection and analysis in assessing student learning and in guiding planning efforts on campuses across the state.  Her department works to provide Student Success Snapshots that deliver concise one-page summaries on key issues, e.g., enrollment trends, Tech Prep, etc. 

Finally, Donna VanCleave, Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services, gave an overview of the fiscal operations of the system and governance.  She noted how the system works to keep tuition down to provide a low-cost alternative to higher education and how the VCCS is working to acquire external grants and funding to fund its mission.

Graduate students at the College of William and Mary benefit from interactions with key state leaders in higher education in Virginia.  Currently, a number of VCCS employees are seeking degrees in the Master's and Doctoral programs in Higher Education.  These students bring real-world experience to their learning and take their newly acquired knowledge of higher education back into their workplaces.  Broadly, all students are able to learn more about the important role community colleges play in the overall higher education landscape in Virginia.